Hong Kong leader offers talks with protesters
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Hong Kong leader offers talks with protesters

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s embattled leader has offered to hold talks between his government and pro-democracy protesters, but says he will not accept their demand that he resign.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told reporters late Thursday that he has asked the territory’s top civil servant to arrange talks with the protesters, who are calling for electoral reforms in the Asian financial center.

The street protests are the biggest challenge to Beijing’s authority in Hong Kong since China took control of the former British colony in 1997.

Leung made the comments in a news conference just minutes before a deadline that had been set by the protesters for him to step down.